Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox: Downtown Denver’s Brothel-Turned-Restaurant

Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox garnered a lot of conversation when it first opened in Denver. It’s the 3rd addition to our city from Justin Cucci, chef-owner of two other popular restaurants: Linger and Root Down. The location’s history also certainly adds to the allure: a brothel that opened in 1889, then turned into an adult bookstore, then turned into a restaurant. And reminders of its history remain in the risqué, retro decor of Ophelia’s.

Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

It’s really impossible to convey online how cool the space itself is. You have to see it for yourself. From the downstairs stage with old cassette players on the wall, to the bar built entirely of mini Jägermeister bottles, to the decadent lounge chairs, to the retro adult movie posters, to the edison lightbulbs — everything has been carefully thought-out. (They also have a HUGE projector TV for NFL games — and apparently for Monday Night Football, they serve a 3-course $30 menu themed around the teams playing. How cool is that?!)

Ophelia's Electric Soapbox inside

Happy Hour: M-F 4-6pm

Happy hour includes $4 Colorado drafts, $6 wines, $5 cocktails, and $5/$7 food plates (and they’re not small). When they opened, personal favorite HH cocktail was the Diamond Lil’s: Cocchi Americano (an aperitif wine), prosecco, lemon, and orange bitters. I’m not sure if they make that anymore (you can ask), but there’s another awesome option on the HH menu now called a PG13 (Vodka, Dill, Cucumber, Lime, Ginger, Soda).

Ophelia's drinks

The Food

The bourbon BBQ oysters ($2/each on happy hour) were one of my favorite things here, but I don’t think they do these anymore 🙁

Ophelia's oysters

The Gigante Bean Hummus (no longer on HH, but $13 on the regular menu) is pretty awesome. It has roasted carrots, watermelon radish, dates, roasted beets, cucumbers, shishito peppers, and flatbread — which makes it the best hummus plate I’ve ever had. The Spring Cheese Incident and Green Chili Cornbread (which is on the HH menu) are also great options.

Ophelia's hummus

If you’re looking for something a bit more filling, there is a $5 mushroom or pepperoni flatbread on the menu (this is the pepperoni, with Biellese Pepperoni, mozzarella, and basil).

Ophelia's flatbread

The duck wings used to be on the HH menu, and the sauce was a little overwhelming, so I’m looking forward to trying the new jerk chicken wings on their menu.

Ophelia's duck wings

There are also duck meatballs available for $13, and I think those are much better than the duck wings actually (although the portion isn’t huge).

Ophelia's duck meatballs

These are the Dry Rub Ribs (Berkshire English cut pork ribs, Carolina Gold mustard, and apple slaw). I wouldn’t really call them “dry rub” — but if you’re a fan of Carolina style BBQ (a thinner, vinegar-based sauce), you’ll love these.

Ophelia's ribs